Choosing the Right Brake Caliper Repair Kit
The best kind of brake calipers will quickly and effectively stop your car once you step on the brake pedal. Calipers slow down your car's wheels and eventually bring the entire vehicle to a halt, so they play a crucial role to your road safety. To achieve optimum braking performance, you need to invest in the right brake caliper repair kit. We've come up with a few tips to help you choose the best kit for your vehicle.
What to look for in a brake caliper kit?
- O-rings and seals
The first step in rebuilding your calipers is to replace the old gaskets and seals. Broken gaskets and busted seals lead to leaky calipers, so you need to choose a kit with a complete set of heavy-duty O-rings and seals to thoroughly cover the internal fluid passages and prevent leakage. Make sure to find the correct size and thickness to ensure the seals are strong enough to hold the high-pressure brake fluid in. Look for seals made of high-strength rubber for maximum durability.
The quantity of the pistons will determine the performance of your brake calipers. Generally, more pistons mean better braking power, as they are used to clamp the rotors and cause the tires to slow down. We recommend having more than two pistons in your brake assembly. However, pistons are not included in some brake caliper repair kits. If you're planning to rebuild your calipers, we recommend choosing a kit with a high-quality piston included in the package.
How much does a brake caliper repair kit cost?
You can purchase a brake caliper repair kit for as low as $20. Beck Arnley, AC Delco, and Motorcraft are just some of the brands which offer this kit at a cheaper price. Brake caliper repair kits without pistons cost much lower, while prices for complete kits can go up to $250. We recommend doing the installation yourself, as the kit already has everything you need to get the job done. All you need is a few simple tools to bring your caliper back into proper working condition.
How to Rebuild Brake Calipers Using a Brake Caliper Repair Kit
Rebuilding your damaged brake calipers is a breeze with the help of a brake caliper repair kit. With just a few simple tools, you can get the job done right away and spare yourself from costly mechanic charges. Caliper repair kits include O-rings and rubber seals which you can install to replace the leaking gaskets in the assembly.
Here are the tools you need and the steps to follow in repairing damaged brake calipers:
Difficulty level: Moderate
Tools that you'll need:
- Brake caliper repair kit
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Socket set and ratchet
- Brake fluid
- Brake cleaner
Step 1: Do a quarter turn to loosen the lug nuts on each wheel. Next, use a floor jack to raise your vehicle properly. Make sure to raise the front end first before the rear. Place jack stands under the vehicle and lower it safely. Check if the stands are supporting the vehicle's weight.
Step 2: Remove the lug nuts and the wheels. Next, take off the caliper bolts and detach the brake line. Remove the caliper and its O-ring. Clean the caliper's internal surface with a brake cleaner. Next, take off the dust seals from the pistons and then detach the pistons from the caliper.
Step 3: Fit in a new seal into the groove inside the caliper. Make sure the new seal and the caliper pistons are properly lubricated with clean brake fluid first before installing them. Slip the pistons back into the brake caliper and install the new dust seals. You can do this by pulling the dust seals over the piston's lip. Clamp the seals in place with the round metal ring included in the brake caliper repair kit.
Step 4: Reinstall the caliper into the rotor and tighten the bolts using a socket. If you're having a hard time fitting the caliper, compress the pistons to gain enough clearance. Reattach the brake line and bleed the brakes. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's specifications for proper bleeding procedure.
Step 5: Reattach your car's wheels and lower it back to the ground. Tighten all lug nuts and do a test drive to ensure your braking system's back on track.
You may need to bleed the brake line again if the pedal has a soft, squishy feel. Test your brakes by compressing the brake pedal. A soft pedal is a sign of seal leakage.